Whenever I hear of Great Wolf Lodge (GWL), I only hear good things – the Waterpark, the Wolves and Storytime are often what is most talked about with great smiles.
What struck me as soon as I walked in was the atmosphere – like a children’s book come to life.
It’s hard to pinpoint. I don’t know if is the amazing interior with realistic antlers for chandeliers, the wolves on the mantelpiece, the warmth of the Lodge appeal or the supper cuddly mascots that roam the grounds – but upon entering, you don’t want to leave! You can see Mr P in the bottom corner of this pic, mouth open in disbelief. He walked in, looked up and around, and then turned to us in complete awe. It was as if he’d walked into one of his favorite books – a big bright cottage, with woodland creatures, smiling faces and best of all other kids! I’d compare Great Wolf Lodge to the kind of children’s book you as a parent actually want to read over and over – because your kids love it, and you love it too. His imagination immediately started coming up with stories for every feature of the lobby…We haven’t even seen the Waterpark yet.
When we checked in at 1 in the afternoon, I was thrilled to find our room was ready even though the official check-in is at 4PM. When you visit GWL, it’s always worth arriving early as your access to the Waterpark starts when the Waterpark opens the day you check-in til 9PM when the WaterPark closes on the day you check-out. Trust me, there is so mush to see and do that you’ll want to squeeze in as much time as you can. So even though we had to check-out by 11, we could’ve checked our bags and stayed at the Waterpark til 9 that night. We actually opted to hit the pool early before check-out, and then enjoyed the music they were serving up in the lobby before we left.
On the first day, it took us a few ours to actually make it to the pool, we were too busy enjoying the view across the mountains from our room, checking out all the neat services and food on Main Street on the 1st floor just off from the entrance to the Bear Track Landing Waterpark. There is so much more to Great Wolf Lodge than just waterslides. So much so that I’ll have to talk about them more in another post. I was also busy snapping pics on my phone, my husband’s phone and the camera. It was a nice touch to be able to upload them right away, as GWL has free wi-fi for guest – hey, I like sharing pictures, so this was a bonus!
One of the first things we were lucky enough to experience, was cuddles with Violet.
When I asked Mr P about his favorite part of the day, Storytime with Oliver the Raccoon came in a close second behind the actual waterslides.
It’s really all so magical.
Now, if you’re thinking this place is just for kids, think again. It’s definitely super kid-friendly, I saw lots of extended slumber parties and birthday celebrations, but it’s a great resort for parents too. I didn’t get to visit Elements Spa, but we did get to indulge in tasty cocktails with a dinner that was better than we imagined. Normally food is where resorts skimp on quality, but not here. At dinner the Loose Moose Cottage and Camp Critter Bar & Grille combine for Buffet style service only. My husband had originally wanted a sit down meal, which is only offered at the Grille during lunch – dinner is always buffet. Though he was weary about the buffet, that all changed when he was able to fill his plate with mussels and shrimp. Being able to have risotto tossed up and ordered fresh was nice as was the carving station.
As our first real family vacation as a family of 4 (trips to the grandparents don’t count!) I’d have to say there was something for everyone. The options are pretty endless from free to relatively inexpensive activities at the Cub Club, as well as Ten Paw Bowling and Howl at the Moon Glow Golf. It all really depends on what your family likes to do and how much time you have. We only spent one night there, but both Mr BAM and I agreed we could have easily spent 3 days there.
Wondering where the Waterpark pictures are? This was just my first impressions, there is so much more to come. I’ve decided to write up separate posts about the Waterpark and other activities you can do, as well as a more detailed review about the service and accommodations – coming soon!
Want to head to Great Wolf Lodge before Christmas?
Be sure to check out their 48 hour sale for prices that can’t be beat across their 11 locations, including one in Canada! You can also catch up with Great Wolf Lodge on Twitter for up-to-date sales, coupons and specials.
disclosure: I stayed at Great Wolf Lodge Poconos as media. All opinions expressed above are 100% my own. You can check out my pictures and first impression tweets by searching #HuffPuffBAM